BBC Local journalists reject broadcaster’s revised proposal

  • 09 May 2023

Journalists at BBC Local have rejected plans put forward by the BBC and look set to announce more strike dates.

NUJ members took part in 24-hour strike action in March over the BBC’s plans to cut local radio services, significantly reducing output after 2pm on weekdays and weekends, and providing only 48 hours of weekly guaranteed local programming.

There has been widespread support for journalists taking a stand to defend local radio services. Last week, Oxfordshire County councillors urged the BBC to value local radio, and keep BBC radio Oxford local in a new video

The National Union of Journalists undertook a consultative ballot of members following a revised plan from the BBC, removing the risk of redundancy from 300 journalists, alongside new guarantees on redeploying those who would lose their roles. Stress risk assessments and three extra pairs of weekend breakfast shows had also been proposed by the BBC.  

56 per cent of members voted to reject the broadcaster’s offer, and 44 per cent to accept. A Work to Rule paused while the NUJ consulted members on new proposals will resume at midnight tonight (May 10th).  

A meeting of BBC Local reps in England will take place later this week, to determine next steps in the dispute including consideration of new strike dates.

Paul Siegert, NUJ national broadcasting organiser, said:

“Members have made it clear that without a fair proposal that keeps BBC Local Radio local and stops the output being drastically cut, strike action will continue. We urge management to listen to what their own staff are saying, along with politicians from all parties and 5.7 million listeners.

“It is vital the BBC return to negotiations with a proposal that keeps its millions of listeners at its core, recognising the huge role journalists play in delivering these much-loved programmes.”

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